Assessment and Evaluation          

Assessment of children has been criticized for a variety of reasons.  The most frequent criticism is the use of standardized tests in evaluating children.  Some of the concerns as outlined by Charlesworth, Fleege, & Weitman (1994) are:

        The test items do not usually match what is being taught in the class

        Teachers tend to teach to the test

        The tests do not accurately measure what the children are capable of

        Causes a lot of stress for both the children and the teachers

As a result of the concerns the educators had with regards to the use of standardized tests, they came up some guidelines to help educators monitor the progress of the children.  They are:

        Children should be assessed through what they do and create

        Assessment should be an ongoing process and not restricted to testing sessions

        The teachers should play an active part in devising tests for   each of the children

 

Assessment Strategies:

          A lot of early childhood programs are moving towards the use of alternative assessment of children.  Some of the strategies that they use are described below:

1.     Observation

2.     Interviews

3.     Documentation strategies: Checklists, rating scales, anecdotal records (used to document specific behavior), running records (detailed documentation of everything that occurs in the classroom), time sampling (recording an event that occurs within a certain time frame), event sampling (recording each time a certain event occurs), video and audio tapes, and portfolios.